Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One Block Challenge

I put a fun twist on a simple challenge today. The idea was to make one block using the fabric provided with the theme of fruit and flowers. I was imagining everyone depicting local Okanagan themed fruits and flowers like cherries and apple blossoms. So I decided to add an element of art by using a piece of fruit as a stamp to create flowers. First, I cut an orange in half wondering if I'd get the texture of the orange segments for flower petals. It was juicy of course, so I placed it on a paper towel to dry out a bit. This is also a great project if you are feeling like a light snack. As you can see I ate half the orange before I even started, but DO NOT clean and eat the rest of the orange after you've used it to paint. Just pick your oldest, crummiest orange and make the sacrifice for art's sake.

You can see the pink/green/blue floral batik we had to use. I was planning to paint the orange and stamp some flowers on a neutral background. I painted yellow and pink acrylics on the orange with a brush. I didn't get the detailed segments I was hoping for but the colours came out nicely.

Without the success of the texture of the orange segments to create petals, I decided to add the challenge fabric as petals. The first layer looked very nice but seemed a bit flat. So I added a third dimension by fusing a smaller flower in middle with just a dot of fusible web in the centre. I stitched it on and then ironed the petals towards the centre so they stood out. All that was left was to stitch on the foliage.

I chose to do a simple couching technique with some yarn. I drew a simple design first with pencil and couched over top. Then I filled in the leaves with a mixture of yellow, green and black acrylic paint. Mixing colours this way adds some dimension and lessens the flat matte paint effect. This little project was very fun and took just 2 hours. (I sped up the drying time with a blow dryer!) The one thing I would do differently with the foliage is to use a stabilizer to prevent small wrinkles and puckering. If you are stuck with this dilemma with no time for a redo, I suggest spritzing the finished piece with water, carefully stretching the fabric slightly with your hands and ironing it flat.

Try out some simple stamping techniques yourself - take a look in your fridge! You may find yourself stamping it up with some old broccoli you should have eaten a week ago.